President Trump has faced institutional checks and balances to his power, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) argued on ABC's This Week Sunday, but they haven't come from Congress.
It's difficult "for a lot of my colleagues to say, 'Hey, let's stand up to the president," Flake told host George Stephanopoulos. "But, boy, we ought to more jealously guard our institutional prerogative. I think in this crisis we're in, I think the judiciary has stood up well. The press has stood up well in terms of institutions. The balance. But the Congress has been lacking."
Flake highlighted tariffs as an issue where congressional Republicans ought to be pushing back, and he suggested that refusing to confirm judicial nominees might prod Trump to shift his stance. "I do think that unless we can actually exercise something other than just approving the president's executive calendar — his nominees, judges — that we have no reason to be there," Flake said. "So I think myself and a number of senators, at least a few of us, will stand up and say, 'Let's not move any more judges until we get a vote, for example, on tariffs.'"
In his final question, Stephanopoulos asked whether Flake, who is not seeking re-election, might "be prepared to challenge the president in 2020." Watch his answer below. Bonnie Kristian
GOP Sen. Jeff Flake says he hopes that somebody challenges Pres. Trump in the Republican primary "just to remind Republicans what it means to be conservative" https://t.co/2AGIg96u5B #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/ta4EWEvbfC
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 24, 2018